Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, on Wednesday urged the military authorities to initiate measures for resumption of commercial activities to fast track peace restoration and recovery processes to end insurgency.
Zulum made the call when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Maiduguri.
He said the measure was imperative to facilitate resumption of commercial activities to accelerate development, reduce poverty and unemployment as well as address root causes of the insurgency and deny the terrorists freedom to recruit vulnerable people.
Zulum said that: “The UN Resolution 2017; states that military operations has to be followed by stabilisation mechanism to ensure that there is sustainability measures on ground to protect the liberated communities to enable displaced persons to return.
‘Borno has total land mass of over 70, 000 sq kilometres, therefore, there is the need for more manpower, more technological warfare and logistics”.
He urged the Federal Government to provide additional man power for the military to enable them to properly execute the counter insurgency campaign and hasten establishment of civil authorities as well as Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Resettlement (RRR) programme.
The governor said that the gesture should be extended to the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies to augment the military efforts in counter terrorism campaign.
“The military should recruit at least 50, 000 youth from Borno and deploy them to fight Boko Haram even if is on ad-hoc basis. They should recruit the locals irrespective whether they have the knowledge or not. What is more important is peace should return.
“We have over 500, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Monguno; 120, 000 in Niger and 68, 000 others in Cameroon, that are eager to return home.
“We have thousands of IDPs laying idle in Dikwa with limited access to their farm lands. You need manpower to hold the liberated local government areas so that the people can return to their homes,” he said.
Zulum also commended the military for reopening of the fishing activities in Monguno and Gamboru Ngala, noting that strict measures would be put in place to monitor activities of the fishermen.
Also speaking, Babajimi Benson, Chairman of the Committee, said the committee was in Maiduguri to condole and symphathise with victims of the Feb.9 insurgents’ attack in Auno.
Benson said the committee also came to hear from the government on some of the challenges confronting the state in which they could be of assistance.
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